Last month, the Trump Administration announced partnerships with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide.
What you need to know:
- Free of charge
- Includes needles, syringes, and other necessary equipment
- Available to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), assisted-living facilities, and residential group homes.
- Available to LTCF staff
- Expected to take three total visits over approximately two months
- Two doses are administered 28 days apart
What pharmacies will do:
- Receive and manage vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, and personal protective equipment).
- Ensure cold chain management for vaccine.
- Provide on-site administration of vaccine.
- Report required vaccination data (who/what/where) to state, local, territorial, and federal public health authorities within 72 hours.
When to expect it:
- As soon as late November or early December
- Vaccines likely to roll out in phases, with nursing homes being second only to first responders and high-risk health care workers
What you can do to prepare:
- Enroll your facility via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and complete the LTCF COVID-19 Module
- Prepare to educate about vaccination risks and benefits
- Prioritize who should get vaccines if supply is limited
- Discuss mandatory vaccinations for all employees
- Build a review committee for those who want to opt-out
- Develop alternative policies (e.g., mandatory PPE) and enforcement plans for opt-outs
- Incorporate vaccinations into new hire onboarding process
As details become known, your prep list may grow. But, at least you can check a few things off while we all anxiously await the official debut of the COVID-19 vaccine.